Ivory #01

Ivory Restoration

Ivory has been used over the centuries in the manufacture of precious items, many of which originated in the Far East, India, China and Japan, from where they were exported to Europe.

If not kept in ideal conditions, or through accidental damage, faults can occur. This little toad on the right had lost half his top lip.

On this page we illustrate a selection of the many items we have restored:

Ivory tea caddies and boxes
Japanese okimono and ivories
Chinese ivories
Ivory inlays
Objects in ivory

Click to enlarge images.

We are sorry that we no longer offer figural carving ie hands, feet, fingers, toes, heads, noses etc, or repairs to deeply carved Chinese ivories and card cases, as we have found this work uneconomic both for our clients and ourselves.



Ivory Caddies and Boxes


Ivory veneered caddies and boxes are highly collectable, but all tend to have similar faults. Ivory and wood are both natural materials and as such move and dry out at different rates. This often results in bad warpage of both the ivory and wood, and the ivory often curls or cracks.

Ivory #02


Ivory #03

Most will agree that there is something quite beautiful about ivory, whatever one feels about the way in which it was collected in the past when different values existed.

We only use pre-CITES Convention (1947) ivory, often re-claimed from objects too damaged to repair or from old now defunct workshops.



Ivory #04


When purchased at auction, this lovely Anglo Indian ivory box was in one piece, although in need of some attention. And this is how it arrived at its destination!



Japanese Okimono and Ivories


Japanese okimono are exquisitely modelled and engraved pieces, covering a wide range of subjects often depicted with humour.

We are sorry that we no longer offer figural carving ie hands, feet, fingers, toes, heads, noses etc, or repairs to deeply carved Chinese ivories and card cases, as we have found this work uneconomic both for our clients and ourselves.

Ivory #05


Ivory #06

The toad on the monkey had lost a leg ....... a new one was carved and fitted.



Ivory #07

A common problem; missing fingers or badly restored ones that need attention.



Ivory #08




Large okimono are often jointed and engraved plugs were used to cover these joint points, which over time often fall out.









Chinese Ivories



Some of the finest carved ivory objects in the world came from China.
Their boxes tended not to be glued together but relied purely on dry joints.
Over time these joints can come loose and warping can occur.



Ivory #09

This image shows some of the processes involved in reconstructing a Chinese finely carved ivory work box.




Ivory #10

Another example of a lovely Chinese box restored.



Ivory #11


A suburb Chinese tray carved in high relief, sadly dropped, with many of the tiny shards of broken ivory lost or too small to place.



Ivory Inlays



Ivory was used extensively as a decorative inlay in woods such as rosewood and ebony particularly in the 18th century. Through bad handling or shrinkage losses often occur within the ivory design, an example of which is shown here on one of the doors of an Indo Portuguese cabinet.

Ivory #12


Ivory #13


Ebony veneer with tortoiseshell panels divided with ivory lines is a style of decoration particularly associated, although not exclusively, to Northern Europe. Extensive restoration had to be done to both the ebony and ivory panels on this large document box, which we feel had probably been stored in damp conditions.






Ivory #14



And three more inlaid boxes, all of which required restoration to the ivory inlay, to a greater or lesser degree.



Objects in Ivory


Objects of all forms and uses have been made from ivory for the luxury market.


Ivory #15

This lovely Art Deco tray with bevelled glass floor had been dropped and shattered.




Ivory #16

Ornamental turning: exquisite shapes with sometimes baffling use were turned in ivory, often by amateur enthusiasts in the 19th century. This candle stick illustrates their enduring appeal.

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